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2012 Champions Week: Fan Fest

Posted by Amy in General | NASCAR

Fan fest for the 2012 Champions Week festivities in Las Vegas was held at the Fremont Street Experience for the second year.  Personally- I liked it better when it was held at the track because there was just something magical about being at LVMS when it’s quiet.  But then again, I am probably biased because LVMS is where I saw my first ever NASCAR race…it was at LVMS that I turned my already BFF into a NASCAR fan…and it was at LVMS that BG was first granted media credentials – so I have a special place in my heart for LVMS.    I guess that they figure that having at the Fremont Street Experience is easier for fans to get to (since the track is WAY OUT THERE)…plus I think the track has a festival of lights set up as many do during the holiday season.

Anyway-  several of the cup cars were on  display and a red carpet that the drivers would walk down to get to the stage where they would be playing  this year’s game show: Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?  The red carpet walk that the drivers take is an experience let me tell you.  People start claiming their spots HOURS before the drivers are scheduled to appear and then other tourists, who are there for non-NASCAR reasons will stroll by and ask what is going on and then upon hearing that they are waiting for NASCAR drivers to walk by in like three hours they give the fans a look like WOW really? You are standing here because a race car driver is going to walk by in like THREE HOURS? It’s kind of funny to judge their reaction- most give looks like the fans are seriously insane.  I don’t know what is more insane…standing around the carpet or walking around in public dressed as a storm trooper and Darth Vader (we seriously saw these characters walking around the red carpet interaction with tourists. Last year it was SpongeBob SquarePants. I don’t think they are official characters- just random people dressed up as them and then trying to make a few extra dollars posing with tourists.

So this year it seemed the red carpet was even MORE chaotic than last year. The drivers were kind of bunched together more than last year so that pretty much everyone was just screaming for their favorite driver’s attention but the actual chances of getting your signature seemed more difficult. I am not sure if the drivers also signed stuff on the way FROM the stage because we left a little early.

Here are some pictures from the event:

Newly annointed 2012  Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski signs autographs for fans at 2012 Champion’s Week FAN FEST on Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach for BadGroove)

Sprint Cup Driver Kasey Kahne signs autographs for fans at 2012 Champion’s Week FAN FEST on Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach for BadGroove)

Dale Earnhardt Jr signs autographs for fans at 2012 Champion’s Week FAN FEST on Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach for BadGroove)

Driver of the #24, Jeff Gordon poses for a quick picture with fans at 2012 Champion’s Week FAN FEST on Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach for BadGroove)

MWR driver Martin Truex Jr signs autographs for fans at 2012 Champion’s Week FAN FEST on Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach for BadGroove)

This picture makes me laugh…Tony Stewart pauses and gives me a look as he signs autographs for fans at 2012 Champion’s Week FAN FEST on Fremont Street in Las Vegas NV. (Photo Credit: Amy K. Marbach for BadGroove)

Like I said it was TOTAL chaos this year and when the drivers walked by they were usually bunched up with other drivers- so I missed some of the drivers.  I didn’t even SEE Matt Kenseth (but rest assured he was there- I just didn’t catch sight of him- let alone a picture).

They game show they played this year was a form of Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader- drivers were paired up and given a third member- a real fifth grader to help them.  The winning team? Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski.

Here is a short video from the game show (we did not take this video FYI):

Click here to read the next article in the series: 2012 Champions Week: The 2013 Chevy SS Reveal

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